2023 Charles Schwab Challenge First Round Leader Picks: Early Bounce Back Spot for Christiaan Bezuidenhout

The Charles Schwab Classic is played on a tight course in Colonial that typically also produces very bunched leaderboards. It is not outlandish to see 20 or so players within a few shots of the lead at this event on Sunday, and for first-round leader purposes, it is also less likely that one player will break away with a single big round. Last season was a great example of this, as Colonial’s plethora of somewhat boring (but hard to score on) par 4’s combined with some heavier winds to produce a jammed leaderboard after Round 1. Seven different names tied at the top at just 4 under par.

The last three seasons have all seen multiple players tied for the lead after Thursday, so do not be shocked if no one separates and betting tickets get split multiple ways after Round 1.

As always, this column will use the OddsShopper’s golf betting tools to identify the best value options as well as a few numbers to include for 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge first-round leader selections.

React App

2023 Charles Schwab Challenge First Round Leader Bets

The weather this season for the Charles Schwab looks much better than last year’s. The highs will be in the 80 F range, and there are no cold mornings and no heavy afternoon winds to worry about either. Day 1 looks mostly mild, with the wind building a touch in the afternoon but not to the point where everyone from that range is worth fading. Instead, with the last three seasons seeing first-round leaders come from both waves, spreading out allocations and bets between the morning and afternoon waves makes sense.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout First Round Leader (+6600) at BetMGM

First Round Top 5 (+1000) at BetMGM

Bezuidenhout is one of a handful of golfers that were playing well going into Oak Hill but disappointed on the highly difficult course. In Bezuidenhout’s case, pretty much all his struggles came on the greens, where he lost over four strokes putting in two rounds. It is uncharacteristic for Bezuidenhout to struggle that much with the putter and very likely that he will have a big bounce back with that club. He gained over 3.5 strokes putting last year at Colonial and over the last 24 rounds has been hitting his irons better than nearly anyone, as he ranks fifth in strokes gained on approach in that timeframe. Bezuidenhout has a very early morning tee time, which should get him access to mild winds and some softer early-morning greens. He is a great player to chase in this range for Round 1.

Latest PGA DFS Content

Andrew Putnam First Round Leader (+6600) at BetMGM

First Round Top 5 (+1000) at BetMGM

Putnam is another elite putter to target for the first round and a player who has had lots of success at Colonial over his career. He is also coming off a missed cut at the PGA Championship but had been showing solid form prior to that, posting a 24th in Mexico where he gained 6.5 strokes on approach. Putnam’s approach game being in that solid of form generally means low rounds will come soon, as is one of the more consistent putters on tour and ranks eighth in short-term putting. He has also had success at Colonial before shooting 65 here in Round 2 last season and 64 in Round 1 back in 2018. As a mid-tier target, Putnam has solid odds considering his blend of recent form and course history, and he has an afternoon tee time that offers good access to the afternoon wave.

2023 Charles Schwab Challenge First Round Leader Longshot Bets

Longshots often hit in the first-round market and are worth adding to your betting card. You can always use OddsShopper’s tools to check out and compare odds across the major sites.

caesars sportsbook promo code

Michael Kim First-Round Leader (+10000) at DraftKings

First Round Top 5 (+1800) at BetMGM

Kim is available at 100-1 or longer across the sportsbooks for Round 1 leader, and that price looks more than reasonable considering his recent form. Over his last five events, Kim has shot 2 under par or better in each of his last five starts and is also coming off a week of rest that should give him a slight advantage over some of the field. The consistency in his opening rounds also makes his top-5 odds for Round 1 look extremely tempting, as he is available at +1800 at BetMGM for that placement. Kim has not had a ton of success at Colonial over his career, but he did win at TPC Deere Run, which is a comparable course and is also a Dallas-based golfer who will be playing in somewhat of a home game. He has taken a big step up in form this year and already posted three top-12 finishes in 2023. He is another player with an early-morning tee time who should be able to take advantage of ideal morning conditions on Thursday.

Matt NeSmith First Round Leader (+9000) at BetMGM

First Round Top 5 (+1500) at BetMGM

NeSmith has not had a great year to date, but he is starting to show some form and looks ripe for a potential big week at Colonial. NeSmith comes off a career-best major championship finish after he posted a 24th at Oak Hill and has quietly made three cuts in a row, gaining strokes off the tee and on approach in each of his last three starts. The putter has also started to pay more dividends of late for NeSmith, who has found himself near the top of leaderboards on Sunday when that club is working. He has not had that much success at Colonial over his career, but he has posted second- and third-place finishes at both the Shriners and Copperhead, two courses that seem to correlate well based on the list of past Colonial winners (Kevin Na and Sam Burns). He makes for a solid outright target for the first-round leader market and comes with an afternoon tee time that provides exposure to the afternoon wave.


DFS Winners from the Stokastic Community

Subscribe to the Stokastic newsletter

DFS advice, exciting promos, and the best bets straight to your inbox

Stokastic.com - Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting Data, Tools, & Analytics

Please play responsibly. Only customers 21 and over are permitted to play. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.